Planet Money's Perfect Presidential Candidate

Monday, October 22, 2012

Robert Smith, reporter for NPR's Planet Money, discusses the Planet Money project to design a presidential candidate who embraces economic policies both the right and the left can agree on.


Comments [22]


Furthermore, why shouldn't corporations pay something for their benefits, such as limited liability?

If these economists proposed removing corporate benefits as well as their taxes, they might have an argument.

Oct. 22 2012 11:20 AM
Catherine Hyland from Manhattan

Planet Money GUY's project looked at a hypothetical MALE president - with CHEST HAIR no less. (I've also learned with this feature that all economists are male.) Like Bartleby - I'd prefer not to play the "Name HIM" twitter game. And spot-on, Jacob in Brooklyn, about the non-addressing of a financial transaction tax.

Oct. 22 2012 11:18 AM


Yes, that was shorthand for lower property taxes leading to lower school tax revenue. The argument for eliminating the deduction was that it benefits the rich. I'm asking how lowering school tax revenue is in line with left policy (more money for education).

Oct. 22 2012 11:00 AM

The "Shell" Game has begun:

Repeal all taxes on income and wages.

Remove the "insurance premium" "fig leaves" that allow Social Security and Medicare to masquerade as "insurance programs.

Levy a duty on the value of every commercial transaction (which will have the effect of raising the price of everything by 25%)

Trust that the government will find a just and sustainable mechanism for returning to the "poor" an amount of wealth sufficient to sustain a politically acceptable standard of living.

Oct. 22 2012 10:59 AM

@Robert from NYC

You have fallen into the craven GOP trap for this election cycle. Hit you over the head with so much ads, reporting and spin that you are sick of it. So sick that you either don't vote or vote third party. Tune out if you can just be sure to show up on Tuesday, November 6.

Oct. 22 2012 10:59 AM

And the idea that the solution to our healthcare expense is to discourage "excessive use" frequently known as preventive care, while ignoring the money wasted on the utterly useless and parasitic insurance companies?

These are not solutions to benefit society, they are solutions to benefit the 1%

Oct. 22 2012 10:59 AM
Sam Sara from Tri State Area

Hippocrates Veritas for President. He tells the truth yet does no harm. Or does he?

Oct. 22 2012 10:59 AM
mck from NYC

Sophia says it all. Chicago School economists like Planet Money or the Freakanoimcs crowd may never admit but their basic "science" isn't a science at all. Above the micro-economic level it is an ideology based on unprovable assumptions about what is the general good and the morally best way to achieve it.

Oct. 22 2012 10:59 AM

The idea that taxing something leads to less of it, should have been definitively disproven when it comes to income, since the top rate was once 90%, and there was no outbreak of mass sloth.

Planet Money alleges to be some sort of impartial program, yet I've rarely seen such a shameless and relentless shill for the 1% as Adam Davidson, and this program seems to frequently and generally serve as a pseudo-intellectual promotion and defense of 1% policies.

Oct. 22 2012 10:53 AM
Robert from NYC

Isn't there any other news happening around the country or the world? I am so sick of this election crap that doesn't seem to end as if the jabbering on about it were to end the world would end!! Everyone is confused, you and all the other "news" programming just drag on the confusion and probably with a reason, although goodness knows why. Let's get on the wars and other stuff, uh Armstrong lost all his medals. There must be other things happening outside of this damned election garbage. It doesn't matter who becomes president, we're all going downhill at breakneck speed on a paper plate!

Oct. 22 2012 10:53 AM
mck from NYC

Call the fake candidate George McGovern...the last liberal and the last honest man to run for president, and look where it got him. But he deserves a better eulogy than what the media have been giving him.

Oct. 22 2012 10:51 AM

C'mon, Brian!

The double tax argument is nonsensical. Everyone's expense is someone else's income and could be theoretically taxed.

Who buys toothpaste over the Internet?

Would the Feds themselves pay into VAT? How much would they owe for building an F22 or an aircraft carrier?

Oct. 22 2012 10:48 AM
mck from NYC

Has everyone been struck with amnesia? The home mortgage deduction was intended as a stimulus because when a new home is built and purchased, people spend money throughout the economy. When people buy a new house, they also are much more likely to buy things like new appliances, new furniture, not to mention new roads and sidewalks, and maybe a new car to keep up with their new neighborhood. It trickles out through the entire economy.

Oct. 22 2012 10:48 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Jim, what does the mortgage tax deduction have to do with "school taxes"? I assume you meant property taxes. And what does that have to with the "left" - are you saying conservatives do not care about schools?

Oct. 22 2012 10:46 AM

The self employed pay taxes on their health care plans, also those who must purchase their own plans on the open market. Not fair

Oct. 22 2012 10:46 AM
Jacob from Brooklyn

What about a financial transaction tax (i.e., Tobin tax)? Why's is that not on this list?

Oct. 22 2012 10:46 AM
Katherine Jackson from LES

Hey, Planet Money, why isn't this fictional candidate a woman??

Oct. 22 2012 10:44 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Across this spectrum of economists, not one prioritizes income inequality as an issue to address? Please ask why.

Oct. 22 2012 10:43 AM

Let the Feds collect the VAT on internet sales and return it back to the resident state. The Feds get to keep a very, very small percentage for operating the collection system.

Benefits: states get back the revenue they have been losing (the internet marketplace is mature enough to support this), vendors get a single standard for sales tax collection.

Cons: Sales on the internet go down.

Oct. 22 2012 10:43 AM

Delete the mortgage deduction and home values will drop. Thus school taxes will drop. How is that good for the left?

Oct. 22 2012 10:40 AM

Cut to the chase and just say Ron Paul

Oct. 22 2012 10:37 AM
Edward from NJ

Wouldn't the consumption tax plank render the other tax provisions moot? Shifting to a consumption tax would make the notion of a "tax deduction" meaningless. Corporations would have to pay the consumption tax as well, so you wouldn't really be eliminating corporate taxes.

Oct. 22 2012 10:22 AM

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